M wears green wolf ears every day. Pointy, furry, teal on a headband.
Earlier, I help M paint the inside of a large cardboard box yellow. She takes off her headband, pokes her head inside the box, and paints the back. In a moment, she returns, sitting up on her knees. M is a pretty girl. Her honey skin and dark brown eyes are exquisite features. I’m surprised. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen M without her ears. She looks older suddenly, not so child-like. She finishes covering the back of the box in paint. “What do you think?” she asks.
“It looks good enough,” she shrugs with a smile.
“Hey, I didn’t know you could hear without your ears?” I tease, looking at the two bedraggled triangles lying on the newspaper.
“Yeah,” she pauses to restore them. “Not nearly as well, though.”
I admire M. She is nine-years-old about to turn ten and a complete original. She has all kinds of interests including, music, electronics, animals, and comics. Today she is wearing a frilly, floral dress over a pink sweatsuit.
M is kind to me. I’m a newcomer to the school, and she talks to me with a genuine interest, and invites me to participate. Today, it’s painting the box.
M is kind to everyone. She has even taken B under her wing. B, who is little clumsy and shy, and has had a hard time making friends this year.
It’s just before lunch now, and we’re about to celebrate M’s birthday, which takes place over the weekend. The class is excited to celebrate her, and a few children give her a gift of a pink, felt crown; wolf ears peek through the top.
Everyone is singing Happy Birthday. M beams in the middle of our circle. It occurs to me that the crown is fitting: M is a benevolent queen. A queen who shares all the love and kindness she has with her peers. It’s a special kindness, one that can only be generated when you truly love yourself first. May you always have that love, M; my wish for you.